Introduction to the Parallel Imports Controversy: Trade or Trademark Policy?

Thursday, January 1st, 1987 at 12:00 am by Clark W. Lackert
Clark W. Lackert, Introduction to the Parallel Imports Controversy: Trade or Trademark Policy?, 1987 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 151

The following two writers on the parallel imports controversy take the polar postures on the issues. The problems they discuss are timely for a number of reasons. The recent availability abroad of less expensive products with identical trademarks has brought about a flood of parallel imports into our country. A significant percentage of U.S. market share for a particular product may well be sold through unauthorized distribution channels. Moreover, the United States Supreme Court has just decided that the parallel imports issue is sufficiently important enough to grant certiorari in the COPIAT case. The conflicting views shown in these articles are being debated not only in the United States, but in other manufacturing countries as well. The two authors concentrate their thoughts on the two central aspects of the ongoing debate: (1) consumer confusion and (2) protection of property (goodwill).

Author Information

The author is a partner in the New York law firm of Nims, Howes, Collison & Isner and is the Chairman of the International Trademark Treaties and Laws Committee of the American Bar Association.